Numerous times I flipped through my hundreds, maybe even thousand, of pictures I took while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in ’17 and ’18. There’s still barely a day I don’t think about it. I was back on sections of the PCT a few times already, and now we will be back on 50 miles that the Tahoe Rim Trail shares with the PCT. And those 50 miles will pass through the Desolation Wilderness and the Granite Chief Wilderness. John refers to this section as easily one of the most beautiful along the entire PCT. I have very special memories back to that section as I hiked my personal record day of 43.1 miles through there. Naturally, that day back in 2017 also included a bit of night hiking and therefore I missed out on some of the good views. That’s why I was also looking forward to these 50 miles.
And, oh my, it was wonderful! The moment we stepped back on the PCT right at this little junction on the edge of a big meadow, I felt at home. Nevertheless, we were only visiting. Instantly, we saw two thru-hikers – were we also that dirty, skinny and equipped with that special glow back then? We were still not back to trail shape (probably won’t be as the Tahoe Rim Trail is too short) and far from doing anything beyond 20 miles per day. But, who cares?! It’s all for the smiles.
The Desolation Wilderness is an area in the southwest of Lake Tahoe, and the crest of the Sierra Nevada runs through it. It’s well-known for its many alpine lakes and beautiful rocky sceneries, that I would rather call stark or barren than desolate.
After hiking up and along Echo Lakes, we eventually made it to Lake Aloha. I have been there before, but this time it hit me as being probably the most perfect place in that very moment in my own universe. Blue skies, almost turquoise water, light grey granite and rocks, the occasional, disheveled by the wind, tree.
Fortunately the views didn’t get any worse. We were marveling at many lakes while hiking slowly towards and up Dick’s Pass, and also saw some more mighty mountains in the distance.
After traversing some more ridges in the Granite Chief Wilderness, we left the PCT again and made our way towards Tahoe City to cross the finish line of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
These two weeks were wonderful! We were living back outdoors, got to meet some inspiring fellow hikers, and met up with the PCT again. Overall, we finally got to spend quality time as a couple after having been kept apart by the pandemic for too long.
Would I recommend hiking the TRT? Absolutely! The views are mind blowing, the trail offers a nice variety of the characteristic scenery of the Sierra, you’re never too far from civilization, and as it is a loop, logistics are not too challenging. But, be aware – you might wanna come back there over and over again.
If you want to hear more about the Tahoe Rim Trail, check out my podcast “Wanderwach & Kaffee”. In episode 4 I talk for about 10 minutes the Tahoe Rim Trail. Click here https://between2poles.net/2021/12/24/janice-erzahlt-vom-weitwandern-auf-dem-lykischen-weg/